Justice and Reconciliation for All

Barbara Perkins | in purple floral dress
From: The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins

My advice for you this week is to be still, breathe and be kind to yourself.


Many of us may feel like we are under a new attack or that we are a part of a group of people under siege. The mental and emotional toll on our bodies in the triple pandemics of COVID-19, racism and economic devastation can be too much at times.

Our collective racial trauma is reeling and the awareness of injustices is at a heightened level. All forms of inequities are on public display on television and in cities across this nation, children of all ages are having to be prepared for battle like encounters at school and parents are feeling helpless, and in some cases, hopeless. We have all been a witness willingly or unwillingly to acts of violence, and it is painful.

I encourage you to be still. In the stillness, you can call for help from a much higher source, practice meditation or mindfulness or simply just breathe. The help that you need, may not be articulated in a written word, but being still can bring you comfort and front ease your mind from racial tensions.

This week I encourage you to take just one moment to be still or practice self care, whether it’s 30 minutes or an hour. Unplug, rejuvenate and engage in healthy mind exercises. Giving back to ourselves and replenishing our wells is the key to giving back to our families, communities and global society.


Barbara A. Perkins

IBWPPI Takes Center Stage at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women | Panelists Deliver Remarks | IBWPPI

The International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute held our inaugural session at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Forum. We lifted our voices to shine a light on the epidemic of Black female trafficking victims. We were proud to partner with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. for this important convening.

The panel convened experts and world leaders to speak on the exploitation of Black women and girls in the underground human trafficking world and other forms of violence. Speakers included:

  • Barbara A. Perkins, IBWPPI President and CEO
  • Rasheeda S. Liberty, International President, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
  • The Honorable Paula Cox, Former Premier of Bermuda
  • Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, Historian and professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Michellene Davis, Health Equity Strategist/President & CEO of M.D. Clarida Drew, LLC
  • Ouleye Ndoye, Human Rights Activist
  • Teresa Stafford, Chief Programs Officer, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center


IBWPPI President Barbara A. Perkins


Health Equity Strategist and & CEO of M.D. Clarida Drew, LLC

Read the News Coverage

Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy

This past weekend, IBWPPI held the fourth session of the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy. The theme of this meeting was understanding traditional fund raising, writing winning proposals and creating sustainable funding streams for causes. Speakers discussed best practices, donor behaviors and market changes post-pandemic. We thank our faculty members for providing great thought leadership on this topic. Read more about their backgrounds below.


Kimberly Bassett | DIH Faculty | IBWPPI

Kimberly A. Bassett
Kimberly A. Bassett was appointed to serve as the Secretary of the District of Columbia by Mayor Muriel Bowser on December 11, 2018. In her role as Secretary, she is the custodian of the Seal of the District of Columbia and manages the City’s ceremonial services; government document publishing and issuances; notary commissions and authentications; international and diplomatic activities; and public records and archive maintenance.

Ms. Bassett was the former Director of the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives (MOWPI) during Mayor Muriel Bowser’s first term. Prior to joining the District of Columbia government, Ms. Bassett served as the Executive Director of the Wireless Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of CTIA-The Wireless Association.


Lena Kennedy | IBWPPI

Lena L. Kennedy
Lena L. Kennedy is a visionary leader and CEO of Community Women of Vital Voices, which specializes in community and consensus-building strategies for community organizing; building community coalitions; philanthropic consulting; corporate advisement; and leadership and life coaching initiatives. Over a lifetime in politics, Kennedy has developed a passion for helping others become involved in strategic ways. Through her organization Women in Leadership Vital Voices (WLVV), she wants to make members “the most informed women in the United States” about public policy, politics and how they both really work.

Kennedy got her start in the political arena more than 38 years ago when she led fundraising and campaigns for the Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s gubernatorial bid. She has since worked on several presidential, congressional and state-level campaigns.

Board Member Spotlight: Lisa Fowler

IBWPPI is proud to announce Lisa Fowler’s appointment to the Advisory Board of Directors for the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. Join us in a warm welcome to a supporter and friend of our organization for many years.

Lisa Fowler is a successful Human Resources executive who holds valuable experience in multiple industries. She is currently Vice President of Human Resources at Xome and has been with Mr. Cooper Group since 2016. Prior to joining Xome and Mr. Cooper, Lisa held multiple human resources executive leadership roles in the entertainment and media industry at Viacom, BET Networks, NBC Universal and Universal Studios.

A saavy people and culture leader, Lisa has more than 20 years of experience providing quality Strategic Human Resources Business Partner services and solutions within private and public multi-billion-dollar corporations. Highly regarded by her peers in all areas, Lisa’s success runs the gamut of HR, business development, and operations strategy.

Bill to Watch: Policy Corner

Justice in Policing Act of 2021

On Wednesday, March 3rd, the House of Representatives passed the Justice in Policing Act of 2021. This landmark legislation makes it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute police misconduct cases, ends racial and religious profiling and eliminates qualified immunity for law enforcement.

The legislation bans the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants—which took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner—at the federal level and encourages states to do the same. Read more about the bill here. Write your Senators via this link.

The CROWN Act of 2021

The bill is pending in the House and the Senate. Created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition, The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination. Learn about the campaign here.

Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021

The bill is pending in the House and the Senate. The bill will end preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity in the United States and close disparities in maternal health outcomes.

For the People Act of 2021

The House version of the bill was passed and is pending in the Senate. This bill would affirm Congress’ power to protect the right to vote, regulate federal elections, and defend the democratic process in the United States. It aims to modernize voter registration and take other steps to improve voting access in federal elections. S.1 would also curb extreme partisan gerrymandering by:
Ensuring states draw congressional districts using independent redistricting commissions whose members represent diverse communities across the state;
Establishing fair redistricting criteria; and Mandating greater transparency for the redistricting process.

John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

The bill has yet to be reintroduced in the 117th Congress. This is a bill to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to revise the criteria for determining which States and political subdivisions are subject to section 4 of the Act, and for other purposes. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act provides tools to address these discriminatory practices and seeks to protect all Americans’ right to vote. Learn more about the bill here.

Join IBWPPI as a New or Returning Member

IBWPPI invites you to either join or renew your annual membership with us in 2021 We are in service to Black women around the world and we do it from our hearts. However, we can only continue to do this important work with the help of our members. Join as a new member or renew your membership online.

As we continue to adjust to the new normal, we want IBWPPI to be a home for Black women who want to connect, heal and support one another. Consider gifting yourself with a membership and joining a network of global Black women.

Why Join IBWPPI?

IBWPPI started 10 years ago in the spirit of global unity and sisterhood. Our mission is to connect and advocate for Black women globally through acts of kindness and public policy. We thank our members and ask that you continue your support of IBWPPI and ask others to join us.


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